Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are some common questions among artists. Please be advised these are all for reference, and nothing contained below is intended to create an attorney-client relationship or should be construed as legal advice. Please contact an attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

Do i need to register my copyright? i heard if you mail a copy to yourself and never open the envelope that’s the same thing.

You should absolutely register your copyright to protect your work! Mailing a copy to yourself can be helpful, but you cannot bring an action in court if your copyright is not registered. It can also limit the amount of damages you can recover if you don’t federally register. We can help you protect your works through this registration process.

I just started a band and we’re ready to rock! DO we need anything else to get started?

Aside from a few fans, you probably want to get some formal business incorporation documents together. Under Ohio law, you could be seen as acting as partners in a partnership if you are making profits as a band and splitting them among each other. There can be negative aspects of an unintentional partnership too – like sharing in the loss involved in a bad deal one of your bandmates tied the band to without your knowledge. In order to protect you and your bandmates, you should consider creating a formal business entity for the band. We can figure out which entity will be right for you and your band and get you on your way to rocking out.

I heard that if I only use a 30 second (or shorter) sample of a song, I don’t need to license it. Is this true?

This is a common misconception among artists. Especially in Ohio, even taking a single beat from another artist’s song can be considered copyright infringement. We can help you do a fair use evaluation of your project, including any anticipated samples, and also help you obtain the proper licenses to use these samples in your song or movie.

I want to use a photograph of this band from a local photographer for a book i’m writing. What rights do i need to use this photo?

First, you’ll need the photographer’s permission (in writing!) for use of the photograph. The photographer owns the copyright in the actual image captured, and you should obtain a license from the photographer for its use. But wait, there’s more! You’ll also need the band’s permission to use the photograph as well. Why? Because artists and public figures have a right of publicity – which means you must get their permission to use images of their personna for commercial purposes. Ultimately, you will end up with two licenses for the use of this one image. We can help you negotiate the rights to use this image from both the photographer and the band.

I’m not located in Cleveland. Can you still help me?

Of course! We can help clients all across Ohio, and travel quite often in the Northeast Ohio area.